In 2009, the city of Potsdam, the Institute for Startegic Dialogue (ISD) and Potsdam Media International e.V. invited leading journalists and opinion-makers to Potsdam for the fifth M100 Sanssouci Colloquium. On this year’s agenda was the topic “Muslim Media - Muslims in the Media.” The often lively and intensive discussions focussed on the portrayal of Muslims in Western mainstream media, the effects of foreign and domestic Muslim media in Europe and the role that media play in the context of integration dynamics and social cohesion.
The colloquium’s first “Working Session” saw the introduction of a pilot research project entitled “Muslims in the European Mediascape: Integration and Social Cohesion Dynamics” led by the Institute of Strategic Dialogue – a London-based think tank – with the support of the Vodafone Foundation Germany. The research presented here identified a number of trends regarding the perceptions and consumption of mainstream and minority media by Muslim audiences and the implications for long-term social cohesion in Germany, France and the UK.
This year, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, a former foreign minister of Germany and senior government member, received the M100 Media award in recognition of his work to foster international peace and understanding and to overcome the German and European divide. The acknowledgement of his efforts on behalf of German reunification was particularly fitting, seeing as 2009 also happened to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The laudation was held by Dr. Marek Prawda, Poland’s Ambassador to Germany. The Lord Mayor of Potsdam, Jann Jakobs, opened the awards ceremony. He was followed by André Azoulay, Senior Adviser to the King of Morocco, who delivered a well-received keynote speech stressing the Arab world’s close historical and cultural ties with Europe and the ever-growing reciprocity between the Muslim and Arab minorities in Europe.
The year’s diverse range of speakers included Octavia Nasr (CNN), Jasim Al-Azzawi (Al Jazeera English), Kristiane Backer (TV presenter), Razia Iqbal (BBC), Flemming Rose (Jyllands Posten), Oktay Ekşi (Hürriyet, Turkey), Prof. Tariq Ramadan, Anne McElvoy (Evening Standard), Christoph Lanz (DW-TV), Matthias Matussek (Der Spiegel), John Burns (New York Times London), Kai Diekmann (Bild), Roger Köppel (Weltwoche) and Abdul-Ahmad Rashid (ZDF).
The M100 colloquium is co-organized by the state capital of Potsdam, Potsdam Media International e.V. and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue as part of an annual series of events known as the Medienwoche Berlin-Brandenburg. This year, the colloquium featured a significant contribution from the Robert Bosch Foundation, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and the Vodafone Foundation Germany. The colloquium was co-organized with CEDAR, the first European Network of Muslim Professionals.